This is how focal length affects your portraits, from 24 to 135 mm

Jun 21, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

This is how focal length affects your portraits, from 24 to 135 mm

Jun 21, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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The focal length of your lens affects your portraits, both in terms of subject distortion and the subject-background relationship. In this video, Julia Trotti demonstrates how this looks. She uses five prime lenses from 24mm to 135mm, so you can see just how much the change in focal length can change the final look of your image.

Julia uses a Canon 5D Mk IV paired with five different prime lenses, shooting from the widest 24mm up to the longest 135mm lens. These are the lenses:

First, Julia photographs her model from the same distance and in the same location to demonstrate the difference between all five focal lengths. Then she moves onto moving around, or “zooming with her feet” in order to get full body shots of her model. In this example, you can clearly see how the subject-background relation changes, but also how the model seems more natural when photographed with longer lenses.

YouTube screenshot

Then, Julia shoots landscape-oriented portraits, which is the composition she personally likes. Finally, she shoots portrait-oriented close-ups to demonstrate how each of the lenses performs in this case.

While longer lenses are generally preferred for portraits, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should ditch the wide-angle ones. Even though wide-angle lenses produce subject distortion, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on what you’re going for, and this distorted look can sometimes be your creative choice.

What’s your favorite portrait lens?

[Prime Lens Comparison! 24mm vs 35mm vs 50mm vs 85mm vs 135mm | Julia Trotti]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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17 responses to “This is how focal length affects your portraits, from 24 to 135 mm”

  1. Lorenzo Morgoni Avatar
    Lorenzo Morgoni

    85 or 105 mm on FF

  2. Fede Avatar
    Fede

    I shoot aps-c with 50mm the most, but sometimes I dont have enough room, so I switch to a 24mm. And when I get creative I shoot portraits with a 11mm

  3. Milan Ballantines Avatar
    Milan Ballantines

    50/1.4 or 105/2.8 on FF

  4. Carter Tune Avatar
    Carter Tune

    85/1.2 or 105/2.0 DC lens on full frame.

  5. Benjamin Stolle Avatar
    Benjamin Stolle

    85 and 135 on FF ?

  6. Jasper Shadloo Avatar
    Jasper Shadloo

    85mm 1.8 currently

  7. Olivier Gallen Avatar
    Olivier Gallen

    I love both of them.

  8. Vincent Reyna Avatar
    Vincent Reyna

    135mm 2.0…mmmmmm dat lovely creamy bg.

  9. Tamás Székffy Avatar
    Tamás Székffy

    100

  10. Franco Kailsan Avatar
    Franco Kailsan

    50mm is my favourite

  11. Bertram Plischke Avatar
    Bertram Plischke

    XR-Gallery? Was ist Deine? :-D Also ich find noch mein 70-200 recht nett alternativ 105mm 1.4, aber nur weil ich kein 85er habe. ;-)

  12. Luis Chico G Padrela Avatar
    Luis Chico G Padrela

    50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2

  13. Sebastian Bundyra Avatar
    Sebastian Bundyra

    135mm f2 & 58mm f2 ?

  14. Richard Snippe Avatar
    Richard Snippe

    Panasonic leica 42.5 1.2 ?????

  15. Jared M Johnson Avatar
    Jared M Johnson

    50mm for full body portrait.
    You shouldn’t really normalize by focal length but say how far you are from the subject. The focal length is irrelevant.

  16. Bartłomiej Mizak Avatar
    Bartłomiej Mizak

    85 1.8 / 70-200 2.8

  17. Patrick van der Horst Avatar
    Patrick van der Horst

    Canon 80-200 f2.8